VCS Winter 2021 – Schedule, Teams, Favorites and Betting Picks
The 2021 VCS Winter Split tournament will be held starting next week in light of the region’s absence from Worlds. After missing out on three consecutive international tournaments, fans at least will have something to look forward to.
The first set of matches is set for the 16th of November at 10:00 CET. (4AM EST)
VCS Winter Split 2021 will start on Nov. 16
The creation of the winter split was due to the inability of VCS teams to hold the summer split tournament. Additionally, starting from last year’s Worlds, the Vietnamese team could not join the rest of the international competitions. Last year, the severe conditions of the Covid-19 situation across the globe and in their country specifically, caused issues when teams requested visas. This time, however, the sudden change of venue from China to Europe was the main reason why VCS teams could not go to Iceland.
Earlier this year, the VCS canceled its 2021 Summer Split due to “not [receiving] a license to hold an online competition for summer,” as well as contractual issues between Vietnam’s League publisher, Garena, and Riot. The 2021 VCS Summer Split was originally delayed, but it got to a point where it wouldn’t have been possible to catch up with the rest of the world’s schedule.
The top two performing teams in Spring GAM Esports and Saigon Buffalo were supposed to go to Worlds, but neither team was able to fix the visa issues in time. For this reason, VCS will now have this competition to recover the lost split.
How will the VCS Format be like?
The format is going to be the same as the Spring Split earlier this year: 8 teams will compete in a double round-robin. All matches will be the best of threes, as teams will be ranked by match wins and then game differential. It is basically the format used by the LCK and LPL.
In this case, however, only the top 4 teams will advance to playoffs which will feature a single-elimination bracket (matches are going to be Bo5).
Looking at the 8 teams participating, they are the ones that participated in spring. Aside from Luxury Esports, which was rebranded from GMedia Luxury, all teams kept the same identity. Bear in mind that the rosters haven’t been confirmed yet, although, considering the situation, it feels like teams will not make great changes.
VCS Teams & Betting Picks
Based on these assumption, we’re expecting the top teams to continue to dominate the competition. Above everyone is GAM Esports: they have been a steady representative for VCS prior to Worlds 2020 and will likely be the favorites to win the split again. Anything below a top 2 finish would be extremely surprising.
The other main candidate is Saigon Buffalo. Previously known as Phong Vũ Buffalo, the team has been number 2 from the VCS in Spring. The promotion of the four rookies from the academy team has worked out well, as Saigon Buffalo will be looking to give a harder time to GAM in this winter split.
After these two teams, there are three looking for a chance in the playoffs. CERBERUS Esports, Team Secret and SBTC Esports will likely be fighting for the 3rd and 4th spot. Out of the three, though, CERBERUS is the favorite to get in.
There’s a big gap from the top 5 to the bottom. Team Flash had a big fall after some members of the team were picked up from other organizations. After winning the summer split, they were supposed to go to Worlds in 2020, but that obviously was not possible. With key members gone, Team Flash is facing major problems in finding new talent to get back to the top.
The last two teams, Burst The Sky Esports and Luxury Esports, have been promoted at the end of 2020. Their spring split did not end well, as they finished bottom 2 in the standings. Luckily, they won the summer promotion tournament to maintain their spot in the VCS. Having said that, their chances of making a big step will be slim, so expect them to be on the back foot again.
The VCS 2021 split will begin next week on Tuesday and it will likely end towards the end of the year. If you’re interested in the VCS and LoL Betting, you will likely have the chance to watch the matches on the VCS’ official English broadcast channel on Twitch, and find the best odds at one of our featured esports bookmakers.